Philippe Snel was invited to take part in the briefing session of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese’s People’s Political Consultative Conference this morning, together with selected representatives of the foreign business community and in presence of a large representation of foreign consulates in Shanghai. This conference is a yearly exchange of opinions and views between the leadership of the Shanghai CPPCC and foreign representatives discussing the progress made in the past year and the further development of the city in a wide variety of fields as culture, science, business, education, etc.
Unsurprisingly discussions remained centered on the management of the ongoing CoVid-19 outbreak. Many foreign speakers warmly congratulated the Municipal authorities for their very efficient management of the virus outbreak earlier this year which allowed the city to return to a quasi “normal” operations and businesses to recover very swiftly. While all foreigners are grateful for the safe and secure environment we are privileged to work and live in, we all hope that restrictions on access to the country can progressivly be relaxed so as to allow families and businesses to travel to and from China again soon.
As far as foreign investment and businesses are concerned, everyone agrees that, this year again, tremendeous progress has been and continues to be made in faciltating access and operations of foreign businesses in China. For instance when it comes to effective Intellectual Property protection or the registration process for foreign invested companies, local authorities have clearly lived up to prior engagements. That said, as was pointed out by some speakers, many challenges still remain in place as for instance with regard to international capital flows and access to local financing for foreign businesses. Everyone remains confident however that Shanghai will continue to play a leading role in further facilitating access to the Chinese market and further help to bring about the level the playing field for foreign businesses in the country.